Monday, April 13, 2015

Jack Russell's Great White at Fish Head Cantina 4/11/2015

I went to see Jack Russell's Great White at Fish Head Cantina ($25) in MD. I met up with Ariel, James, Dwayne, and Rod there. I was reading that it was selling out beforehand, which I was thinking was a bit odd and I didn't really believe it. However, I was in for a surprise when I got there!

I arrived kind of late, a little bit before Great White took the stage, to a pretty full parking lot and a Cantina packed with people. Going through the bar/billiards area where hip hop and pop music were playing to the back rock stage is always an interesting experience.We waded thru the sea of people (way more than were here for Grim Reaper), a much better turnout than I anticipated- definitely hundreds of people (I think the capacity is 1000), everywhere I turned there were people! Good for Jack and his crew, but I seriously doubted they had the drawing power to do this. I think the location of Fish Head brings out a lot of fans from Glen Burnie and the like, where the 80s still lives on strong. Not a bad thing (hey I'm paying to go to this show, I dig the music!), but something to remember in the future when buying tickets! Another note was that Great White was playing in Leesburg at Tall Ho the next night, so potentially some of the DC/VA/MD audience may be split between the nights (I heard reports that about 250 people were at the Sunday show, which is about a third of the capacity there).

No More merch, :(

Jack mentioned a little bit of merch being left at one point, but I didn't see anything set up. I didn't really look for it much, tho, as I was content with having a space.

Kickstart my... wait a minute

I couldn't help but think guitarist Tony Montana reminded me of Marq Torien (Bulletboys), and that bass player Chris Tristram looked like a young Vince Neil. Guitarist Robby Lochner reminded me of a more rock Billy Ray Cyrus, and drummer Dicki Fliszar was like a younger Chris Slade. Just some observations. Jack Russell had his kind of Bret Michaels bandanna look going on, and looked a bit rough, and seemed a little hunched over (looking up a little, Jack apparently has been thru a LOT, including some surgery which explains the hunching), but maybe my vision was obscured by all the camera phones. For as many breaks as Jack took, I don't think I minded because he still has it.

But make no mistake, from the first time Jack Russell sang a note to the last song, he was spot on, sounding nearly like the albums. It's amazing how time affects different singers. For example, Steve Whiteman from Kix has more than a few effects on his voice, but Jack seemed to have maybe a little echo- that's it. Alice Cooper has also held up well. But I can't imagine anyone left disappointed (except for the drum solo, more on that later) this evening. Jack's voice along was enough for a very satisfactory aural experience. Jack also talked a bit, which actually was good, as he was giving background on many of the songs, or some little trivia about it. Whatever he was saying, it seemed like it was straight from his heart, and that he was glad to be there.

There were the standards ("Mista Bone," "All Over Now," "Rock Me," etc.), but also some deeper cuts like "Mean Mistreater" (Jack said they hadn't done that one in a WHILE, and a new song (the very Beatles-esque "Hard Habit"). And then some pretty well done covers- some Jimi Hendrix that featured both guitarists on vocals (Tony Montana sounded like Marq to me, which wasn't a bad thing at all, he was great!), and a very faithful reproduction of Led Zep's "Immigrant Song." They played pretty much all the Great White songs I had really wanted to hear, so no complaints there. They also did a silly advert/ditty for "Jack Russel's Great White Pirate Facebook Page." There was so much good energy from the crowd and the band that even this little silly 30 second song received an ovation. He also dedicated "Save Your Love" to his wife (in attendance at the show, right in front of us).

I will say that of course some people were referring to the incident in RI where some pyro went horribly awry and 100 people died. That was a bit in poor taste. Other than that and all the camera phones constantly filming, and the drum solo, everything else was pretty great. The last time I saw them was at M3, and I think this time they were even better. I still don't like drum solos, but at least this one was short. Mr Lochner's  guitar solo was good, with the inclusion of all those classical pieces. I think something was up with the mix at some times during his solo, and the solo seemed a little over the crowd's head as much of them began chatting loudly during it. Granted it wasn't the best guitar solo I've heard, bu the crowd seemed to like the drum solo better (woof). The drummer was good, talent wise, but the drum solo really didn't have anything interesting going for it.

Overall, a pretty great performance, making it worth the two hour drive that it took (it's far!). The nice and long setlist was very nice too! Totally recommend people seeing them live if you're into Great White (or even most hair bands).


Great White (10:45- 12:33)
  • Out of the Night
  • All Over Now
  • Desert Moon
  • Psycho City
  • Mista Bone (w/ Purple Haze  and Voodoo Chile snippets)
  • Save Your Love
  • Guitar solo (w/ classical pieces including "Flight of the Bumblebee," "Für Elise," "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro," (I think) and more)
  • Lady Red Light
  • Hard Habit
  • Drum solo
  • Jack Russell's Great White Pirate Page ditty
  • Mistreater
  • House of Broken Love
  • Rock Me
  • -
  • Call it Rock N' Roll
  • Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
  • Once Bitten Twice Shy (Mott the Hoople cover)